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POSTED February 18, 2014 8:18 p.m.

uKANSAS BILL WOULD ALLOW SPANKING THAT LEAVES MARKS: TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas lawmaker is proposing a bill that would allow teachers, caregivers and parents to spank children hard enough to leave marks.
Current Kansas law allows spanking that doesn’t leave marks. State Rep. Gail Finney, a Democrat from Wichita, says she wants to allow up to 10 strikes of the hand and that could leave redness and bruising. The bill also would allow parents to give permission to others to spank their children.
It would continue to ban hitting a child with fists, in the head or body, or with a belt or switch.
Finney says she wants to restore parental rights and improve discipline.
Rep. John Rubin, chairman of the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee, says he isn’t sure the committee will consider the bill.

uRYAN SAYS HE’S KEEPING HIS OPTIONS OPEN FOR 2016: MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Republican congressman Paul Ryan says he’s keeping his options open about a prospective run for president but won’t be looking at the 2016 contest in earnest until after Congress breaks for the year.
Ryan was the GOP’s vice presidential nominee in 2012.
The Wisconsin Republican returned to New Hampshire on Tuesday for the first time since he and presidential nominee Mitt Romney lost the campaign to Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Ryan says he’s focusing these days on his job as House Budget Committee chairman.
The comments came during a brief visit to Manchester, N.H., to headline a fundraiser for a former House Republican colleague.
Ryan does offer harsh words for what he calls a “lawless” Obama administration, and praises the tea party’s influence on the Republican Party.

uWISCONSIN RUBBER DUCK BILL RACING TO FINISH LINE: MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The “Ducktona 500” in Sheboygan Falls and the “Lucky Ducky Derby” in Menomonee Falls may soon be able to operate in Wisconsin without fear of breaking the law.
The state Senate on Tuesday passed a bill legalizing rubber duck races in Wisconsin. The measure cleared the Assembly last week. It now heads to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.
Nonprofit organizations commonly race the little plastic ducks, with numbers on the bottom, as fundraisers.
But the legality of those races was called into question after the state Justice Department warned the village of Mishicot that its annual rubber duck race amounts to illegal gambling.
The bill would create an exemption for duck races, similar to laws in Minnesota and Michigan.

uWITNESS: GUNMAN LAUGHED AFTER KILLING TEXAS COP: AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Witnesses testifying in the trial of a man accused of killing a Texas police office say he admitted to the shooting and laughed.
Former software engineer Brandon Daniel is accused of fatally shooting Austin officer Jaime Padron after the officer confronted him inside a Walmart store in April 2012. Prosecutors say they’ll pursue the death penalty.
The 26-year-old had been reported shoplifting at the Walmart. Store manager Lincoln LeMere told jurors on Tuesday that Daniel giggled after the shooting and told him, “I killed a cop.”
Officer Albert Arevalo testified that Daniel stared blankly and spoke in a slurred, lethargic tone. He said Daniel also told him, “I killed a cop.”
Daniel’s defense attorney says Daniel had taken the anti-anxiety drug Xanax the night of the shooting.

uBURGLARY SUSPECT ARRESTED AFTER LEAVING WALLET: DALLAS (AP) — Authorities say a teenager who burglarized a Dallas police officer’s apartment, taking his service weapon and ammunition, was apprehended after he lost his wallet as he fled.
Police reports say two witnesses chased 18-year-old Adrian Jimmerson when he was seen Feb. 13 carrying a pillowcase full of items. The suspect dropped the pillowcase as he jumped a fence, but his pants ripped and his wallet fell to the ground. A school identification card also was found. Jimmerson was arrested the next day.

uNAVY SUPERCARRIER ARRIVES AT SCRAPYARD: BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The Navy’s first post-World War II supercarrier has arrived at its last port of call.
The massive aircraft carrier USS Forrestal completed its final sail Tuesday when it arrived at a South Texas scrapyard from Philadelphia.
All Star Metals President Nikhil Shah says the vessel arrived at the Brownsville yard Tuesday afternoon.
The carrier left Philadelphia under tow Feb. 4. The 60-year-old ship was sold to All Star Metals for 1 cent.
The USS Forrestal was decommissioned in September 1993, after more than 38 years of service. Its flight deck was the site of a 1967 fire that killed 132 crewmen and injured 62 others.

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EX-SOLDIER CONVICTED OF KILLING IRAQI FAMILY DIES: LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A former soldier sentenced to life for raping and killing a teenage Iraqi girl and using a shotgun to gun down her family died in an Arizona prison over the weekend in what officials suspect was a suicide.
Steven Dale Green was the first American soldier charged and convicted under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act — a law signed in 2000 that gives the federal government jurisdiction to pursue criminal cases against American citizens and soldiers for acts committed in foreign lands.
The federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman John Stahley said staff members at the federal penitentiary in Tucson, Ariz., found the 28-year-old Green, of Midland, Texas, unresponsive in his cell on Saturday. Stahley said Green’s death is being investigated as a suicide.
Green was a private in the 101st Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell on the Kentucky-Tennessee state line when he deployed to Iraq.
Three other soldiers. Jesse Spielman, Paul Cortez and James Barker, are serving lengthy sentences in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for their roles in the attack.
In multiple interviews from prison with The Associated Press, Green frequently expressed regret at taking part in the attack and frustration that he was tried and convicted in the civilian system, which does not afford inmates parole, while the others involved went through the military justice system and have a chance to be released from prison.

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